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Into the Coachella Valley [Manuscript Monday]


At approximately 7:15 the sun begins to peek over the eastern hillside, creating a picturesque display of colorful, shimmering mist. The air is fresh and brisk, like mountain air. Today is the day! Michael thinks. Today is the day we ride straight to New York!

At times Larry pulls way ahead and, like a dog out for a run with his master, Michael instinctively tries to match the speed of the car, driving his leg muscles harder and harder. It feels good, right even, to quicken his pace, especially in such cool climate. Not a minute later, though, and he would glance back at Louis, gliding slowly and steadily behind, conserving his strength for deeper into the day’s ride.

Neither are ecstatic about riding through Palm Springs. After all, it is a retiree’s haven, filled with Crown Victoria’s and golf carts between the hours of five and ten in the morning. From there, no soul is prudently functioning outdoors, especially during the summer. Still, somehow people decide to have themselves baked and burnt like beached whales, helplessly sprawled upon beach chairs to dehydrate and nauseate their bodies.

As they descend down upon and into the Coachella Valley, riding parallel to highway ten on two-lane roads that lead in and out of small towns, windmills the size of skyscrapers slice through the air with monstrous ease. Some clearly catch the direction of the air better than others, boasting high-speed rotations with their massive arms.

The valley is a funnel, ushering wind east by southeast between the San Bernardino National Forest mountains and Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness State Park. They careen through the funnel and into the valley, tailwinds kicking them to speeds of thirty and thirty-five miles per hour.

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